These Women Over 60 Are Solo Travel Rock Stars
Leyla Giray Alyanak
(At this moment I am thinking, A sidecar is safer than a motorbike, right?)
Name: Leyla Giray Alyanak
Age: 62 but rushing by so fast I may be 63 by the time you finish reading this sentence
Home base: Bucolic rural Eastern France (local food specialties: cheese, snails, cheese, frogs' leg, cheese)
Number of countries visited: 80 but I'm not finished
How I am traveling differently at 60+ than I travelled at 45: Nothing fundamentally different but some things are harder, like getting up after a night on the ground in a tent (a forklift would be handy)
The destination I would go back to in a minute: Eritrea. No skyscrapers, no pollution, and warm, hospitable people who know how to make great coffee. Too bad it's closed for business right now...
I met this unforgettable person while traveling: In South Africa I met a woman who was a friend of a friend. I wrote ahead to let her know I would be in her town, and could she recommend a good place to stay. She picked me up at the bus stop, gave me a room and a bed - and I stayed two months. That's hospitality! I should add that I found similar hospitality throughout the continent. The people that stick the most in my mind are the ones that are the most open.
My funniest or most unusual travel experience: That would be the time I was chased by a lioness across a narrow plank over a gorge in Nigeria... or when villagers carved a tree trunk into a canoe for me so I could paddle out of a flood with a Catholic priest the Philippines... or when I was lost in a minefield in Mozambique... or kept at bay by a poisonous snake at nightfall in Borneo without a flashlight - one false move and I might step on it.
My two bits of wisdom for other travellers: (1) Say YES once you've ascertained there's no danger. I've missed many a (probably) wonderful experience by being lazy or overly cautious or simply contrarian. (2) Let common sense rule your travels, not fear.
My website: blog.women-on-the-road.com
Carole Terwilliger Meyers
(Kava time, kava YES. Josh teaches me the finer points of drinking kava in Fiji.)
Name: Carole Terwilliger Meyers
Home base: Berkeley, California
Number of countries visited: 44
How I am traveling differently at 60+ than I travelled at 45: I am more selective about where I choose to go because I have less time. I also like to hold on to railings when I use stairs.
The destination I would go back to in a minute: London. Because it is my all-time favorite place. Most especially I love tea time, black cabs, and plays, not to mention museums and sweet shops.
I met this unforgettable person while traveling: This is difficult. I need to whittle down a very long list. I will select a guide on a recent trip I took to China. This guy was a frustrated stand-up comedian and he definitely enhanced our trip to and understanding of what can sometimes come across as a very severe place.
My funniest or most unusual travel experience: The time in Germany when my travel pal got the German word for cathedral mixed up with the word for catheter and didn't figure it out until the next day. Then we understood what those Germans in the bar found so funny. Yet they still helped us find lodging by the big catheter.
My two bits of wisdom for other travellers: (1) Don't take malaria pills unless you absolutely must (but if they are prescribed then definitely take them). (2) Surrender to the journey.
My website: www.berkeleyandbeyond.com/index.html
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